Monday, December 14, 2015

A Month Off

Starting Aug 15 and ending Jan 9, I will sleep in my own bed in Chapel Hill five nights (two in Oct and three in Nov). It's been the most concentrated period I've ever spent on the road.

While my work has gone quite well and been highly satisfying, I'm tired. The good news is that opening up immediately in front of me is a glorious month off from facilitating, training, and consulting. From Dec 14 until Jan 14 I'll only be with family and dear friends:

o  With my son Ceilee, and my grandkids Taivyn and Connor • Dec 14-20
o  With my daughter Jo, and my son-in-law Peter • Dec 20-27
o  With my partner, Susan in Duluth • Dec 27-Jan 8
o  With my housemates Joe and María in North Carolina through the end of Jan, which includes my next job on the far horizon: a NC-based facilitation training that I'll be conducting with Maria as my co-trainer, Jan 14-17.

I won't travel for work again until the last weekend of January. Yippee!

To be sure, I still have a variety of reports to write (I wouldn't want to go cold turkey) and promotions of one kind or another to conduct, but the pace slackens considerably as the weather turns colder and our hearts turn warmer. Not much business gets conducted the last half of Dec anyway (other than shopping) and I see no reason to push against the tide. While I may not be a model holiday shopper, I fully intend to consume and distribute my share of good cheer and bonhomie. 

I've always loved the concept of coming home for the holidays. And given the uprootedness that has characterized this past year for me, it makes sense that it will mainly be me traveling to the homes of loved ones this season rather than their coming to me. 

We are entering the season of taking our foot off the gas in the workaday world, making way for time together in celebration of ritual and relationship. The more deliberate pace (lingering in a warm bed instead of bouncing out in the dark to answer the bell of business; luxuriating over coffee as we collectively decide what breakfast will suit the day; cuddling on the couch to read or enjoy a movie together of an evening) offers a canvas on which we're able to imprint memories that sustain us year round.

I love the contrast of working hard, followed by immersion in this zone where time slows down and laughter pushes worry aside. Just as surely as I know I'll be ready to go back to work Jan 14, today I'm as eager as a child on Christmas morning, anticipating the arrival of Santa Pause.

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